Weekend Astrology: Cancer Full Moon & Mercury in Capricorn

'Analog Tweets' in the window of the Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine. They were created early this fall during an outdoor art event. Passersby could compose a 'Tweet', which the printers would then hand-set using wooden block letters, print, and then raise up in a 'stream' from the ground to a third floor window via ropes and pulleys. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Today is Friday, Jan. 6, 2012.. Mentally and emotionally, this is a busy weekend. The two big events are the Cancer Full Moon early on Monday (2:30 am EST) and Mercury leaving Sagittarius for the first time since Nov. 2. It enters Capricorn at 1:34 am EST. If this were a short newspaper horoscope, it might simply read, ‘Whatever you are feeling or thinking, stop and take a breath – or ten – before you express it’.

This is because Mercury makes a slew of aspects between now and Monday, right on the Aries Point — that mysterious cosmic amplifier. It’s in the Uranus-Pluto hot spot, with Jupiter giving a boost, so you may find one choice leads to some kind of surprise or unexpected turn. Plus Full Moons are generally polarizing and this one is in a rather emotional sign. Our minds will likely be changeable and active and our feelings heightened, but neither situation is necessarily a bad thing. Both simply call for awareness, though that may not be so simple.

The swing toward the yin/feminine that comes with a Full Moon may actually bring us collectively closer to gender balance. As one person said of this Moon yesterday: “When in doubt, hold to the yin.” This Moon/Sun opposition along the Cancer-Capricorn axis also brings an opportunity to find balance between work and home, structure and flow. Remember to give each side of the equation some attention as you find balance.

Today, before Mercury makes its move, it’s still conjunct the center of our galaxy. Where you are vociferously committed to your sense of justice and liberty, watch out for soapbox conversations when you’re ’just getting to the good part’. Where do you fall along the spectrum between having something meaningful to say (or listen to) and being full of hot air? That said, if you do take a time out to meditate today, keep your antennae up: downloads from more extensive domains of order are the order. The Galactic Center also has a way of working behind the scenes, out of sight. Look for what is influencing you that is not apparent or visible.

Now, what about the assortment of aspects that Mercury makes this weekend? In terms of ‘exact’ aspects, some occur just before it leaves Sagittarius and some right when it enters Capricorn. But really, since we’re talking about a span of three degrees, they’re all basically happening at once. That sounds chaotic, but there are some clear themes you can feel for, and if you have a little time to reflect this weekend, you may even notice the shifts.

A pair of sextiles to Saturn in late Libra and Neptune in late Aquarius are a bit like a tap on the shoulder: a gentle reminder of energy you can use with ease. (Another way to describe this is that Mercury is at the midpoint, or balancing point, of Saturn and Neptune.) Mercury is about thinking and communication, and this particular setup could be summed up as “Om, grow up” (mantra courtesy of Buddhist monk and writer, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche). In other words, without the structural integrity that Saturn can lend our thoughts and speech, it is very difficult to convey, evolve and make tangible our Neptunian creative vision. We need to ground (Capricorn) that vision and focus it like a laser if we’re to make the most of our relationships (Libra) and our social and technological interactions (Aquarius). The point is that this is actually possible, and it is a brilliantly creative synthesis.

Mercury also makes a trine to Jupiter in Taurus, a square to Uranus in Aries and a sextile to Chiron in Pisces. Goodness. With so many planets early in signs, we will get some version of this multifaceted dialog every time a planet, the Moon or the Sun changes signs.

Mercury square Uranus is probably the most interesting and surprising one of the lot: there is an idea, a real idea, in the midst of all of this. This aspect involves the Aries Point, and puts Mercury into the zone of the revolutionary aspect marking the next three years: Uranus square Pluto. You might feel a struggle between acting on impulse and intuitive insight versus a practical and rational understanding of your thoughts, which could lead to some argumentative behavior. This seems like a good moment to remind you we’re working up to a sensitive Full Moon; take a breath and if you need to disagree, do so with maturity, precision (not pickiness!) and compassion.

Luckily, Mercury’s trine to Jupiter in Taurus lends some good judgment and keen observation to the mix. Since the aspect is a trine (all flow, not much pressure or compulsion), you may have to consciously invoke this energy. But if you do, there is a natural expansiveness that may help you to keep that ball rolling, complete with optimism and a dash of material comfort. See if you can ground the feelings in at least one tangible step toward continuing them.

Finally, it’s fitting that one of Mercury’s earliest aspects once in Capricorn is a sextile to Chiron, given the inner spiritual odyssey we have all been on these last two months. That’s what this whole litany of aspects is leading to. You may feel suddenly activated, as though you’re being pushed to a new level of intuition and awareness. This is an extremely versatile aspect and it seems to favor writers, actors and speakers. It has a bit of the golden tongue, whether speaking truth or not.

The spiritual realities and non-linear experiences you may have recently had may be easier to understand, as they come into focus with a more directed quality. This is about healing your mind by using your mind. If you’re in any kind of healing process, chances are you are discovering in what ways your mind was turned against itself in childhood or what beliefs you carry that are not truly yours. Chiron helps us see these things so that we can change them. The thing about Mercury-Chiron is to remember that not everything is true, even if it would be nice if it was. You will have to use discernment — and we could in fact view this whole sequence of aspects as an exercise in just that skill.

In the midst of this weekend’s sensitivity, know that opening up to vulnerability — however scary or appealing — is necessary for true intimacy and healing. Capricorn’s cardinal initiative suggests it’s time to establish a clear healing goal and carefully plan the steps to get there. All may not go as planned, but if we share what we learn with others along the way, we stand to benefit from the giving as much as the receiving. As Donald Shimoda (the ‘reluctant messiah’ of the book Illusions) said, we teach what we most need to learn.

P.S. Check out the blog for the Pickwick Press to see photos by Irina Skornyakova of the Analog Tweets as they were being made.

Looking for insights on how this week’s astrology affects your personal Sun and rising signs? Try out Planet Waves Light, our streamlined horoscope service. For deeper cultural context and astrological investigation, the premium Planet Waves subscription includes the same horoscopes, plus extensively-researched articles on Fridays.

9 thoughts on “Weekend Astrology: Cancer Full Moon & Mercury in Capricorn”

  1. Another great Amanda photo – thanks. Love the Analog Tweet: “The Art Formerly Known as Prints.”

    Yeah, and also like the hammer and cat one at the Pickwick blog.

    Needed the snickers this afternoon, without the calories.


  2. To the PW Super Seven: thanks for the incredible weaving of the symbolism of the Saturday aspects into a whole cloth with Sunday’s aspects, all suited up for the Full Moon on Monday and buttoned up with Chiron. Wow!!!

    Too right on the Saturday silence and observing, as I grab a mala and chant “Om, growin’ up.”

    That all of the wonderful astrology / guide to living continues to stream forth from PW while Eric et al are diligently working to bring forth the Annual is truly amazing. Holding all of you in the light, with much gratitude.


  3. chock-full of fascinating and user-loving nuggets … so much to assimilate, I’ll go slow and remain humble and, as you suggest, share.

    love you all,
    ps: uranus is higher octive of mercury … awesome
    pps: many hands worked the astrology-magic onto this page — lovely chironic metaphor I’m carrying with me this weekend.

  4. thanks for the expansion on the theme, bkoehler! fascinating tidbits.

    and this post truly had several hands at work in it; no fewer than 7 people contributed ideas, phrases, edits, etc.

    hmm…. maybe this post is some kind of mini holograph of the astrology this weekend?

  5. All happening at once. Yes indeed, and I would add that Uranus is considered the higher octive of Mercury, so I visualize a crossing over the stream by stepping stones (Sag to Cap). With an underflow of our emotional natures (full moon), our thinking is going from Mercury hand in hand with Jupiter (also considered “over” Mercury in some circles) who provides a clear and wide view, to Chiron who wants to act as a bridge to transform our thinking to now include feeling (Pisces), and finally the square to Uranus at a whole ‘nother level, who is sensing the freedom of a new beginning in Aries. Good thing Mercury is a quick learner, has wings on his feet, and is probably ambidextrous too.

    Having Neptune and Saturn to see Mercury off to Capricorn makes sense too. Not to be morbid, but Saturn is portrayed as the grim reaper for a reason and we can expect that something in our thinking is coming to an agreeable (sextile) end. Neptune will wash away the last of the old boundries of our thinking; kind of a baptismal if you will. Thanks for pulling all the pieces together today Planet Waves.

  6. Wonderful piece… once again. Thanks for the heads up !
    Hmmm… maybe I will choose Saturday to have a day of silence, and just observe. 😉

  7. Thanks for this wonderful blog, packed with goodies. This is what has come up for me right now, “know that opening up to vulnerability — however scary or appealing — is necessary for true intimacy and healing”. Have come back from Christmas with the folks – my mum has begun the slow and painful descent into dementia – is terribly depressed, often verbally abusive with my dad and refuses to get any sort of help for her condition. When I go and stay with them I take on their stuff,which I always did as a child, and try to sort out the household. Now I’m an adult at last (or trying to be one!) so I’m able to deal with it all with more awareness, love and compassion. However, I live far from them, and it isn’t easy to get over to see them often – it’s the classic situation of expat with ageing parents. Am feeling a sense of grief and great sadness at the moment about it all, plus coming back to bad work/money situation- my heart is pretty sore. But I’ve found that the more I’m able to open my heart to the worry and pain, the more I surrender to it all, the more I’m able to cope with it – and there’s a sense of softening and opening up taking place, as you say “healing your mind by using your mind”. A belated Happy New Year to all of you. Thanks for being here. Lots of love xxx

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